Proclaiming his innocence, Davis is put to death for the 1989 killing of a police officer

By Tim Nudd
Updated September 22, 2011 07:40 AM
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Credit: AP

In a case that has drawn worldwide attention, Troy Davis was put to death by lethal injection in Georgia on Wednesday night, 20 years after being convicted of the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer.

Davis, 42 proclaimed his innocence to the end, but the U.S. Supreme Court denied his final request for a stay of execution. He was declared dead at 11:08 p.m., four hours after the scheduled execution time – and less than an hour after the court delivered its decision, reports The New York Times.

Strapped to a gurney, Davis told the the family of Mark MacPhail that he was not responsible for the officer’s death.

“The incident that night was not my fault, I did not have a gun. … I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent,” he said, according to media witnesses.

He also told his supporters and family to “keep the faith” and said to prison guards, “May God have mercy on your souls; may God bless your souls.”

There have been widespread doubts about whether Davis was guilty of the crime for which he was executed. Several witnesses in the case have recanted or backed off their testimony implicating him, and no DNA, fingerprint or blood evidence tied him to the killing.

Outrage Expressed

Before his execution, Davis had won the support of a number of celebrities, many of whom expressed their hopes, fears and outrage at his plight.

Hip-hop artist Big Boi of Outkast traveled to the prison to protest the execution. “Just remember we fought til the very end….peace and Blessings,” he wrote on Twitter shortly after hearing news of Davis’s death.

Other celebrity supporters included Diddy, Mia Farrow, Sandra Bernhard, the Indigo Girls, Gabrielle Union, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Questlove, and reality stars Toya Wright and Kim Kardashian.

“GOD BLESS Troy Davis,” Diddy wrote after the execution. “11:08PM: The time America lost a piece of her soul,” wrote Russell Simmons, referring to the time when Davis was pronounced dead.

Kardashian Tweeted about Davis several times throughout Wednesday evening. “There is #TooMuchDoubt to kill Troy Davis tonight,” she wrote. She did not write a message after his death.

Bernhard wrote: “a prayer for #troydavis that his life was not in vain but perhaps an opening to positive change in our collective conscience.”